When I first moved to London I was introduced to director Charlie Lyne, who had recent success with a couple of essay films, BEYOND CLUELESS and FEAR ITSELF. He showed me an early project that he had worked on with poet Ross Sutherland called STAND BY FOR TAPE BACKUP, and I was blown away. I asked Charlie to introduce me to Ross, and let them both know if they ever collaborated in the future I'd love to help out.
Fast forward a year, and the two had teamed up again for a commissioned piece for the BBC. It was going to be a "live" performance, where Ross would deliver a 30 minute sung-through monologue, timed to an episode of Eastenders that aired on a night that changed his life. The concept was unique and challenging, and like nothing else that I've ever seen on TV.
I knew right away I wanted to shoot it in a single, 30 minute take. It would complement the conceit nicely, and was a challenge I wanted to take on. We set up an Alexa Mini with a 24mm Zeiss Standard Speed to keep it light, and in order to keep the movement organically handheld (while still saving my back) we rigged the camera to an Easy Rig with a Serene arm and Flowcine Gravity One.
We rehearsed for 5 days, and shot 4 takes a night for 5 nights. 20 in total. We used the very last one.
From the Village Voice: "...the film is a bravura feat of choreography and music, staggeringly complex and almost unaccountably beautiful."
Here's the finished piece...